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Rapport and the Discursive Co-Construction of Social Relations in Fieldwork Encounters
Ed. by Goebel, Zane
Series:Language and Social Life 19
DE GRUYTER MOUTON
Aims and Scope
In accounts of ethnographic fieldwork and textbooks on ethnography, we often find the notion of rapport used to describe social relationships in the field. Frequently, rapport between researcher and researched is invoked as a prerequisite to be achieved before fieldwork can start, or used as evidence to judge the value and robustness of an ethnography. With few exceptions, and despite regular pleas to do so, ethnographers continue to avoid presenting any discursive evidence of what rapport might look like from an interactional perspective. In a sense, the uncritical acceptance of rapport as a fieldwork goal and measure has helped hide the discursive work that goes on in the field. In turn, this has privileged ideas about identity as portable rather than “portable and emergent”, and reports of social life as more important than how such reports emerge. Written for all those who engage or plan to engage in ethnographic fieldwork, this collection examines how social relationships dialogically emerge in fieldwork settings.